Fill the Gap - Your Guide to a Trouble-Free Gap Year

29 July 2013

Gap Year Travel Tips

So it's time for your gap year; that exciting sabbatical of travelling overseas for fun, adventure, education and many varied life experiences.  But as any knowledgeable backpacker will tell you, there's a lot of preparation to do before you even hand in your final paper.  So how do you ensure a smooth journey?  Well, you can't.  You're a gap year student - something always goes wrong.  And very often, these moments will be your funniest anecdotes.  But here at Seven Seas Worldwide, we'll do our best to offer as much advice and guidance as we can to keep your anecdote-level low.

Gap Year Luggage

If a backpack is your chosen gap year luggage (and let's face it, a wheeled suitcase is going to be a nightmare to drag through the jungles of Peru), make sure you don't pack too much. Remember, you'll be carrying this thing everywhere and no matter how young and fit you may be, a heavy backpack is going to cause strain on your back and elsewhere.  Oh and make sure you buy a reliable and sturdy yet comfortable backpack, one with a belt for the waist as well as straps for the arms to lend that extra support when trekking about.  And don't slouch.  Plus if your gap year travel involves 'roughing it', make sure your rucksack is big enough to accommodate a sleeping bag as well as all other essentials.

With the rucksack as your main piece of gap year luggage, you're going to need to be more ruthless than you would be for a regular holiday.  Very often, when packing a suitcase, we'll stuff down the side an extra pair of shorts or a T-shirt or toiletries or a makeup item 'just in case I need it'.  With gap year travel, this sort of thinking should be avoided.  If you're not sure you're going to use it, leave it at home.  A lot of items such as toiletries, clothes and makeup can be purchased while abroad.  These aren't essentials.

However these are...

Gap Year Travel Essentials

Here's a list of items you should certainly have in your rucksack.  You may want to make a note of these and tick them off as you pack.  Peace of mind at the airport and all that.

  • Passport
  • Bank cards
  • Mobile phone
  • Chargers
  • Adapters
  • Flight tickets
  • Accommodation details
  • Sun lotion
  • Insect repellent
  • Wallet/purse
  • Notepad and pen
  • Nondescript clothes allowing you to mix-and-match
  • Painkillers, aspirin, etc.

Once you have these items ready, be sure to evenly distribute them around the rucksack so it doesn't feel lopsided.  Rucksacks also have this habit of pushing the most hard-edged item into your back so make sure items are placed carefully or wrapped in something soft like your sleeping bag or some clothes.

Packing for a Gap Year

Gap Year Baggage

Right. You're good to go.

As you weave your way through your chosen destinations, absorbing the local cultures and customs, you may find yourself accumulating more stuff than when you first packed, such as souvenirs, gifts and extra food/toiletry/clothing items. What do you when the sheer volume of your gap year luggage exceeds your expectations? Well, without wishing to sound too biased, speak to us. Okay, it sounds a bit biased but hear us out.

Seven Seas Worldwide is fast becoming the first choice for students all over the globe because we're safe, efficient, affordable and very nice on the phone. If you find yourself in a pickle with your gap year luggage while overseas, Seven Seas Worldwide can collect, ship and deliver your items back home, door-to-door, with very little fuss. In fact, we can be there for every eventuality; maybe you want to send your items ahead of you at the start of your gap year or perhaps send a gift package back home? Talk to us today about our excess baggage service, and take a look at our range of amazing student shipping services (including collect and store student storage which is perfect for all the other stuff you might accumulate). Oh and check out our instant online shipping quote engine to see just how affordable we are.